Approximately 70% of parents (n=226) in the RIPPLE study with overweight (OW) and obese (OB) children underestimated their weight status. This statistic is consistent with research to date.
In a recent study, Wright et al., 2016 examined parents’ perceptions of children’s weight status and long-term obesity-related health risks. Interestingly, while parents of OW and OB children tended to underestimate weight status, such parents estimated greater future risk for children’s obesity-related health outcomes.
This finding challenges the notion that parents need to be aware of the issue in order to address it. In other words, is the accurate perception of children’s weight status a necessary condition for parents to facilitate children’s healthy behavior changes?